Tuesday, 31 December 2013

End of 2013

This year has been quite busy, last year I started this blog to encourage me too do more and make more. And although I stopped the challenges part way through the year I have done more this year.
My health has been a little off this year with more migraines and some other issues. I can't complain though, it hasn't slowed me down much, maybe left me feeling a little down some days but not too bad. There has been changes at work this year, a lot of the people I worked with left. I am now the 3rd longest serving member of my department at 4.5 years. But I did get a promotion which was nice, was nice to be recognised for all info at work.
It was also about a year a go that I started teaching Lizzie to crochet, she soon asked if I could also teach one of her other friends Louise and from that came 2 great thinks in my life. First is a great friend I still cant work out how I didn't meet sooner, Louise, she is wonderful and I am glad to have her in my life now (also happy to have got to know her daughter who is one of the smartest 13 year olds I have ever known). The more we talked the more we realised we had just missed meeting most of our lives, went to the same school 1 year apart, drank at the same pub, with the same people, but never met till this year.
We (my friend Lizzie and myself) also started the Afternoon Tea Society with Louise to start with but it now includes Rosie, Sally (my aunt), Belinda (mother), Lucia and most recently Marcia. Its a lovely group of girls who love to make and share. Its has inspired me to make and given me such joy. Its so good to finally have a group of girl friends, for so much of my life I have been surrounded by mostly men.
I know I'm a little behind my with my posts and my projects, life often finds ways to get in the way of what we want to achieve. I have so much I want to do, so much that inspires me at the moment.
Going into next year I plan to keep making and sharing and enjoying my life with my partner and my friend.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Xmas tree

I got our Xmas tree on Monday. Picked out the perfect one from the field, was really hard searching for just the right one but I think I got a really good one.

Decorated it that night with all my favorite decorations. Some metal, some glass, some wood, some paper and now some new knitted ones. And of course my hand made crochet farie.

Below is a picture if it in the field.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Full fade blanket

This is my full fade blanket.

The info on how I made is is here:

I am really pleased, the change between colors is nice and gradual as I had hoped. Using 3 strands of dk and a 10mm hook means its also really warm and thick. Mother loved it as I hoped she would. And if I'm honest I was a little sad to let it go and may make a simular one for my self in the near future.

It did however take the best part of 12 100g balls of yarn, so you know it is really thick. Time wise I worked on it for less that 2 weeks, evening mostly so not a very long project. Its 57 rows long, not including the chain, so it really did work up super fast.

The picture above shoes the colours best I think.

Hope you like, if you give it a try your self please share, I would love to see.

Friday, 8 November 2013

500 followers on Pinterest.

I have over 500 followers on Pinterest. 
Still no followers here but it makes me happy that I am getting a good number of views.
I hope that those that do wonder through like what I share.
And I hope one day someone will like what they see enough to follow.

Soon to come, Mothers full fade blanket pictures, it turned out great.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Full Fade Wave Blanket - The Theory

Let me share with you the plan I have for my Full Fade Wave Blanket for my mummy. When she saw my wave blanket she wanted one. I didn't have the time or money to make it at the time but vowed I would make it this year, and if possible before it got cold.

I though and though and came up with this plan, be warned I think in maths so its a bit algebraic at times.

The basic idea is to take a few colors of yarn and fade through the colors from one end to the other by changing the combinations of yarns and by patterning the rows. So we fade in two ways, both in the color of the yarn (produced by combining multiple strands) and the pattern by staggering the colors into each other. Hopefully you will understand what I mean later if my description is not very good here.

For 2 strands the number to colors you can make from Y yarns is 2Y-1. 
For 3 strands Y yarns makes 3Y-2. 

So we can expand and add more strands and/or yarns using the formula :
            C = S x Y - (S-1)
where C=colours, S= strands, Y= yarns.
# As you use more strands adjust your hook size to match.

You can also adjust the size of each fade. You can go: 121, 12321, 1234321. Below are representations of the 3 fades.




To calculate the length of the finished blanket we need to take the number of colours and multiply by the stitches in the fade and then subtract the tail ends of the fades and finally multiply by the height of your double crochet. Let me explain:

A tail is the stitches either before or after (as its symmetrical) the centre of the fade that we want to remove to leave the first/last fade starting/ending on its largest number.

A 121 fade is 4 stitches long (1+2+1), its tail in 1.
A 12321 fade is 9 stitches long (1+2+3+2+1) and its tail is 3 (1+2)
A 1234321 fade is 16 stitches long (1+2+3+4+3+2+1) and its tail is 6 (1+2+3)

So for our equation we have:
            Rows = C x F - 2T
Where C=colours, F=stitches in fade, T=stitches in tail.

Here is an example:
5 yarns using 2 strands at a time and a 12321 fade:
            C = S x Y - (S-1)
            C = 2 x 5 - (2-1)
            C = 10 - 1
            C = 9
            Rows = C x F - 2T
            Rows = 9 x 9 - 2 x 3
            Rows = 81 - 6
            Rows = 75
I know my double crochet is 15mm high when I use a 8mm hook and 2 strands so my blanket will be 15x75 = 1125mm, or 1.125 meters long approximately, there is likely to be rounding errors but it gives us a rough idea. 

OK lets try another.
3 yarns using 3 strands at a time and a 1234321 fade:
            C = S x N - (S-1)
            C = 3 x 3 - (3-1)
            C = 9 - 2
            C = 7
            Rows = C x F - 2T
            Rows = 7 x 16 - 2 x 6
            Rows = 112 - 12
            Rows = 100
Measure the test piece to find the height of the stitches and then multiply by 100.

And another.
4 yarns, 3 strands and 12321 fade:
            C = S x N - (S-1)
            C = 3 x 4 - (3-1)
            C = 12 - 2
            C = 10
            Rows = C x F - 2T
            Rows = 10 x 9 - 2 x 3
            Rows = 90 - 6
            Rows = 84

Last one:
3 yarns, 3 strands, and 12321 fade.
             C = S x N - (S-1)
             C = 3 x 3 - (3-1)
             C = 9 - 2
             C = 7
             Rows = C x F - 2T
             Rows = 7 x 9 - 2 x 3
             Rows = 63 - 6
             Rows = 57
This is the one I will use, a test piece measures about 25mm a stitch so hopefully my blanket will be about 1.4m long.

The bee hive blanket

Its complete! After months of work, and may distractions its finally done!

This was meant to be my summer blanket but its taken me so long to do its almost autumn here. But I am happy with it. 

This is the pattern I used:

Where mine has 2 rows each if 3 colors (i.e. is 2 rounds larger). 

I joined it all together using this technique:

I like the way the pieces meet, looks neat. I have been thinking about adding an edge but I think I am going to leave it as it is. I like it, it feels warm and inviting.

Next comes the full wave blanket for my mum. Then me partner wants one too. I still have 2 dresses, a DS cover and a bag to make, plus more I am sure I am forgetting.

Oh and here is the bee cushion I made to go with the bee hive blanket. He looks a little wonky coz I have been sitting on him. Still needs a mouth though.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Some Dream Clothes - Thinking Autumn

Here are some pictures off my Lolita fashion Pinterest board that I love. They for me say autumn. The summer is over and its time to calm down and take it easy for a bit. Gone are the bright exciting colors, that time for fire and energy are over. Now we take our time to walk in the warm evening that is autumn and relax before winter comes.

I love the yoke on this, the pin tucks and buttons are just perfect. This in may ways sums up Lolita fashion to me. Its well made, from good material. Styled to flatter the lady. Tailored to fit just right. Just lovely.

This is so sweet, with a shawl to keep the chill off and its wonderful. 
The detail on this is lovely, the layered dress over blouse, a little warmer, the warm tones, perfect.


And of course proper layers, I am a real sucker for a cardigan.

Sunday, 13 October 2013

The Afternoon Tea Society First Bake Off.

On the way to go pick strawberries earlier in the year the idea of a bake of came up. We all loved it, we love too bake after all, we just needed a plan. 

We decided the format, 2 rounds each with a winner and an overall winner. We agreed to have a technical round and a creative round. Then we needed to decide what to make.

The first round was easy to decide once we had a date, a few days before the event was me stepdads birthday. So we appointed him one of our 3 judges and made the technical round his favorite cake. Coffee cake it was.

Next was the creative round, we needed something vague that gave us lots of room to be creative. What to pick was a big question. We thought long and hard and finally decided on apple, that was our second round.

I was so sure I didn't have a chance when I saw how amaisingly good all the other entrants bakes looked. I felt out matched, these where beautiful cakes that smelled like heaven! 

So my surprise my apple and cinnamon cookies won, I knew they where nice having made them for work a week before to test the recipe but I really didn't think they would hold up agenst the others.

Below is a picture of all of the entrants the middle 3 of us holding our winners spoons. 

I will post my winning cookie recipe at a later date.

Lizzies cup

For my friend Lou's birthday we surprised her with an afternoon of decorating cups. This is the one my friend Lizzie did. She is a big fan of the alot. 

Mine will follow later. 

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Autumn here

Looks like autumn is here today. A bitterly cold wind blows piles of leaves round the roads in intermittent swirls. The trees look a little less green and slowly rain their brown leaves to the ground to be blown with the others. It felt warm the other day and today I feel so cold.

Time to pull out the gloves, scarves and hats. Spend the evenings snuggled up under a warm blanket, to crochet and knit my heart away. Seems about right that it should get cold just days after I finish my summer blanket. Still need to finish the bee though.

They say that this cold will break next week but it sure feels like the beginning of the cold today.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Owls for my DS

Back in July when Animal crossing new leaf was release I bought my self a shiny new limited edition new leaf 3ds xl. It is lovely, such a cute design and I have loved playing it so much, but the other day I noticed a scuff on it. I was horrified! So straight away a decided that I need to make a case. Its going to be a cross stitch case, maybe with a felt lining inside, I have not decided. Above it the pattern I am using, its so sweet and as the museum is run by a owl it seems right. It will be the same both sides with a flap at the top, although I do not know what I will put on the flap yet. 

And here is a progress picture:

Hope you like :D

Monday, 16 September 2013

In love with a colour combo

I am in love with mint green and chocolat colour combo. There is something about it that makes my heart flutter. I have decided that I need a dress in this combo, something kind of spring/autumn like. Not too light but also not too heavy. 

This may be a good time to try printing designs onto fabric or I may keep it simple with some ribbon for detail im not sure yet. Maybe indulge my other love, buttons. 

Im sketching ideas atm and will share when I have some more. I also have a design afternoon with friends on friday where we will all be designing clothes with a sweets theme. Think humbugs and custard creams and cute sugary colours. 

Will have more to share soon.

Thursday, 29 August 2013


Why is there never enough time for crafts. After having a job, time with partner, and a little with friends there seems to be so little time left for crafts. Of course it helps that most of my friends also like to craft but I still have a huge list of things to make mounting up.
So my list starts with bloomers, I really need some, I have enough muslin to make a couple of pairs and the bias binding to finish at least one pair. I need more blouses but I don't have the fabric for those. I have fabric for 2 dresses, one with a brown and gold butterfly bodice and the other plain yellow all over, but I may add a butterfly to that too. Embroidered butterfly's should look great on both, but I need to brush up on my embroidery first.
I have my tea box to line, I have foam and felt to do it, I just need to get going. I have a bracelet to make and want to make a couple for mum to sell when she goes to craft fairs. I need to buy porcelain pen so the girls and I can decorate our cups, and more urgent I need to make a friend a birthday gift.
Oh so much to do.
I also need to tell you about my tray and arrange a photoshoot and of course get ready for the bake off. There just is not enough time. But I guess it would be easier if I where not so easy to distract, if I would just get on work at what I need to do.
Well it beats being board! Ramble over.

Thursday, 22 August 2013

Victory, beaded crochet rope.

Crochet beaded rope is a craft I tried many months back now and completely failed at. Now I don't normally fail at crafts, things may not turn out as I hope but it does tend to vaguely work, but when I tried beaded crochet rope I completely failed! All I got was a knot of beads and thread, not even remotely resembling what I was hoping for. So chucked the beads back in their box and wrote it off as the craft I just can't do.

Please do thing me big headed when I say I am good at crafts, I will never run a marathon, paint a master piece, wright a great book, or change the world. I am however quite good at learning things and at making things. I learnt crochet off YouTube, learnt basic dress making with a few pointers from my mum, posts on live journal, and a couple of books in Japanese (which I don't speak/read). I may be clumsy, ditsy and a really bed speller but I know my strengths and one of them is crafts. So when I say I failed at this I mean I was annoyed, I don't fail at crafts.

Lately I have been going a bit bead mad, so I decided I would give this mysterious craft one more go. I watched even more videos, bought some big pony beads so I could better see what was going on and gave it a go. And to my great joy I was sucsessful. The picture above is of my first succesful rope, I was very proud, since then I have done a few other test pieces with smaller beads and I will make a full piece soon and post the results.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

My favorite dress

This is my most loved dress lately and has been since my mum finished it for my birthday last year. Its so simple and yet feels so good. Its made with poly cotton and lined with muslin. It had wide ribbon that wraps around the waist and thin that crosses and ties behind the neck.
Walking around in it feels so lovely as it flows around me, makes me feel beautiful and special. Its also really comfy, the sheered panel in the back allows for plenty of movement and the volume of the skirt leaves you plenty of freedom.
I keep finding excuses to wear it, its just so lovely to wear. There is nothing better than walking on a sunny day in this dress with my straw hat on.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

The fruits of my labour

 is what I have made with the fruit I picked the other day. I had a wonderful day with my tea girls picking fruit and I will write a big post later when I get the pictures. 

First let me tell you about my mixed berried on French toast (cinnamon eggy bread). Bread dipped in a mixture of egg, a little milk and cinnamon and grilled, served with a mixture of strawberries, raspberries and cherries cooked with a pinch of sugar on top. Was really yummy.

Strawberry lemonade, was so nice, I just blended up some fresh strawberries in a little lemonade then topped it up with more. So refreshing.

Now this was a real treat, with the jam we made I had a stack of mini pancakes. Oh my where they good, that perfect taste of home made jam mixed with the comfort of pancakes. 

The lefleftover fruit I froze to keep it at its best later.

My crochet kit

Ever since we started the afternoon tea society we had talked about talking hook cases. And once I bought my last set of hooks (I will need large hooks for my full fade wave blanket, to come later) I realised I had 26 hooks, 15 unique sizes and wanted something or some way nice to store and transport them. So I bought a fat quarter of cute fabric and planned my case to have a slot for each hook size and pockets for my needle book, scissors and tape measure.

The outside is waffle stitch and I still need too add some ribbon to hold it closed, the inside looks really good and I even added a space for a pen/pencil. The needle book, althought you can't see it, has a cross stitch heart on the front to match the bag.

I asked mother to line the bag which should help make it last longer and helps the heart pattern show up. 

All in all im I'm very happy with my set, its a pleasure to gather my supplies and head out on a Friday for tea. If anyone ever read this and wanted to know how I made them then leave a comment and i will write up a little something. 

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

My bee hive blanket so far.

For the last few months I have been working on my beehive blanket. It is made up of 60 unique hexagons each 3 times 2 rounds of double crochet done with a 4mm hook. I would share the pattern but I can't seem to find it.

The other day I finally finished the last round on the last piece, so many hours have gone into this already. I got all the ends tucked in and then laid them all out to decide on where each should go. I have started to sew them together now and have 9 done. There is still a lot of work to go but its already looking good, can't wait to have it all done.

It was meant to be my summer blanket and if I'm lucky it still may see the end of summer. Hope you like too, soon I will share with you the bee to match and the finished blanket.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

The end of challenges

Let me talk about my challenges and why I am stopping them. I started the challenges to help me get out and do more, to end the boredom of my every day life. But since January this year I have found my self a perfect little group of friends called the afternoon tea society. Lately I have felt that my challenges have become lame like I'm scraping the barrel for ideas, but its not that I'm not making new things or doing kool stuff, just that my challenges don't reflect that. 

So I'm ending the challenges and will just be sharing what I have made and done. Like my crocheted crochet kit, my new strawberry dress, my home made cream tea day and my new blanket set. I have a lot I'm making and doing and I want too share what I love.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Week 28

I want a new bag, I bought a couple of fat quarters the other day while picking up yarn and elastic and have decided I want a new cute bad, not sure what I want to use it for but I will work that out during the week and make it this weekend. 

Animal crossing dress

I have been wanting a mint green and chocolate brown dress for ages now. I just love the combination, so it was an easy choice for what dress to make. A yoked dress with long sleeves. And here it is:

I'm looking forward to getting the qr code machine so I can get some of the kool clothes I have seen posted here:

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Week 27

Week 27, another challenge. I am totally addicted to animal crossing at the moment, the new one came out and me and my partner fell so in love with it that we bought me a 3ds xl just so we could both play. My town is looking nice and my house is coming along nicely. 

So I think I want a animal crossing based challenge, but challenging me to pay off something or build something is not going to work. So I think I should challenge me to design a outfit. I have seen some lovely clothes designed and posted all over the place and I'd like to have a go. 

I'm not sure yet what theme too go with or what kinds of clothes to do but I will have a think. All I know is that it must be cute, like me :-) 

Frozen yoghurt pops, wk 26

So this weeks challenge was to make a frozen healthy snack. I have a bit of a sweet tooth and I know its not good for me. So I have a non sugar based treat in the flat I decided to make some yoghurt pops. 

I don't think I did very well, they look good but I'm not sure I like the taste. 

It was a busy weekend with me and my partner celebrating being together for 8 years, time really fly's. We went out for the day Monday and it wasn't till I was on my way home that I had a chance to buy some yoghurt. 

I got fat free yoghurt and it tastes a little sharp to me. I put in some pineapple chunks and they where kinda nice, they where a little chewy which I liked. 

If I try this again I want to use a better yoghurt, maybe put the pineapple in the blender for a bit and mix in the yoghurt. Maybe some smaller chunks too. 

Not my best project but at least I did it in time. Will try other ideas and share in time.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Week 26 challenge.

I have been totally slacking on my blog lately, life has been demanding too much of my time, plus I'm hooked on a new game. But I need to get back into the swing of it.

So from now on Tuesday is blog night. New challenge set and post about the last challenge if I haven't already. There is so much I want to make and so much I want to do I just need to get a move on and do it. 

With that in mind this weeks challenge will be to make healthy frozen treats. I found my ice lolly mould out of the cupboard so now I just need to work out what to make. 

Friday, 21 June 2013

Hama hair accessories

I have completed the last task, late but I got there in the end, and even worn one set to work. My assembly method let me down and even after just one day the glue is failing. Back to the drawing board.

And here are some other things I have made, I added loops as I intend to use them as pendants. Need to get me some thing to string them on to. 

And today at afternoon tea I plan to make dice with Hama beads.